The Curse of Tactical Voting

A crop of ‘Tactical Voting’ websites and schemes has sprung up. They are wrong. Tactical voting is a scourge on our democracy – nothing will ever change while people participate in tactical voting. Tactical voting has been going on my whole life, and probably much longer. One website offers to let you ‘swap your vote’ with someone in another area. Lib Dems in particular should resist these sites like the very devil. The irony is that Lib Dems are the biggest net losers in any tactical voting scenario. As the smallest of the three main parties, we may well have come third in your constituency last time out. This leads to many of our supporters thinking, “I really like Lib Dems, but I’ll vote for the least bad of the other two so that my vote counts”. This really is utterly counter-productive and condemns us to coming third again. If you vote tactically, you just preserve the vicious circle of coming third! Consider this: if you vote Lib Dem this time, you may move from third to second – then you will live in a target seat – and in four years time have a real chance of getting a Lib Dem MP (or sooner if there’s a by-election). Opinion polls and research clearly show that people actually like the Lib Dems and their policies at least as much as the other two, if not more. The only reason we don’t have more Lib Dem MPs than we do is because of misguided tactical voting. If you do nothing else on May 5th, vote your conscience – then even if you don’t get what you want, you’ll move a step closer to it.

Is Tony Blair a liar?

I don’t know whether there has been an organised “Google bombing” campaign. But Tony Blair is currently the third highest result when you Google the word liar. Since the WMDs didn’t exist, and Blair said he had seen convincing evidence that they did, he was either lying or he was incompetent. Either way he is not fit to be re-elected. Since Labour seem to be promoting a ticket of “vote Blair, get Brown”, one wonders why he didn’t step down before so that people could just have the option to “vote Brown”?

Banana Republic

The elections in Zimbabwe were, quite rightly, denounced by the EU as “a sham”. One again, we counted our blessings at living in a truly free society. But we must not rest on our laurels. News that a judge branded the Labour postal vote scandal in Birmingham as something that would ‘disgrace a banana republic’ must put us on our guard. We are used to thinking that our electoral system is scrupulous and fair (inasmuch as a first past the post system can be), but this just goes to show how the devious and the desperate will always try to cheat the system. I’m not against postal voting per se, but we have to make sure that the system is secure from fraud. The judge has ruled that the guilty may not stand next time – I don’t think they should ever be allowed to stand again.